In the late 1960s George Jung (Johnny Depp) leaves his parents Fred and Ermine (Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths) in suburban Boston and begins selling marijuana on the beaches of southern California. It is not long before he is introduced to bigger players - and prison. In prison he meets a man who knows a man who . . . and by the mid 70s George is a multi millionaire cocaine dealer. This fact based story concertinas Jung’s drug dealing career and introduces his girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente) and wife Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), as well as his accomplices like Derek (Paul Reubens) and Diego (Jordi Molla), and his most powerful contact, Colombian drug lord Escobar (Cliff Curtis). Jung almost singlehandedly creates the market for the most popular recreational drug in North America in the 70s and 80s.

Overall successful performances by all, but the casting of Johnny Depp is debatable.

Supposedly the true story of the life of George Jung, Johnny Depp - who became involved in the drug trade after moving away from his Boston home where Mum - Rachel Griffiths constantly berates his father - Ray Liotta - for his lack of success. In California George gets a stewardess girlfriend Barbara, Franka Potente, and through her meets Derek, Paul Reubens, a hairdresser and marijuana dealer. George expands Derek`s business exponentially but is eventually arrested. While he`s in gaol he meets Diego Delgado - Jordi Molla - a Colombian who, on their release connects George with the head of the biggest cocaine cartel in the world, Pablo Escobar - played by the New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis. And it`s then that the good times roll, particularly when George meets Mirtha - Penelope Cruz.

This is actually quite a fascinating film as it tracks the developing cocaine trade in America. Although how accurate a portrait of George Jung it paints is debatable. He`s such a gentle nice guy as played by Depp, but an unlucky one in his business associates. What distinguishes the film are the performances, they`re pretty much all good, Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths are terrific, Penelope Cruz showing grit as Mirtha and quite mesmerising is Jordi Molla as Diego. Blow offers us insight into a world, an era, it`s also a cautionary tale.